House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., introduces presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton to the press for her on the Iran nuclear deal following her meeting with House Democrats during their weekly caucus meeting in the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, July 14, 2015.
Bill Clark—CQ-Roll Call
By Jay Newton-Small
December 21, 2015

Only twice in her long career in Democratic politics has Nancy Pelosi endorsed someone for president. The first was California Gov. Jerry Brown in 1976 and the second was former House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt in 2004. Both were mentors to her.

But this cycle, the House Democratic leader says she plans on endorsing a candidate. Who? She won’t quite say, sitting under a painting in her Capitol office of San Francisco Bay by John Hultberg on loan from the Young Museum, because she’s “under the dome” where she doesn’t mix politics and policy. But Pelosi does hint broadly on who she might endorse (hint, it’s a woman).

“I will say this that I’m not sure every body has the fullest appreciation of what it would mean to have a woman as our candidate for president who is so qualified to be president,” Pelosi mused in an interview with TIME for a Q&A running in out Year Ahead edition (on stands this week). “We want to elect the best possible person; she happens to be a woman. What that confidence inspires in people is immeasurable.”

Pelosi says her experience rising to leader was striking, “what it said to girls and young women about what the possibilities were for them. This is going to have an impact not only to our own country but the entire world in the same way the election of Barack Obama did in term of having a minority president and the message that carried.”

Clearly, Pelosi is strong leaning towards fellow Maryland Martin O’Malley (no, not really). Of course, there is only one woman in the Democratic field for president: Hillary Clinton.

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